The hope of public health officials is that, if enough people get vaccinated, the U.S. will reach what's now widely known as "herd immunity:" when enough people are immune to a virus or bacteria that there is no longer uncontrolled spread of that disease.
To help get more shots in more arms more quickly, many companies and health departments are offering incentives for those who choose to get vaccinated. Those incentives range from free food to free getaway trips to discounts on event tickets and groceries.
Here are some of the incentives you can take advantage of if you choose to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This list was updated June 17, 2021.
Companies Offering Vaccine Incentives
Beginning June 1, eligible customers who get their vaccine through the pharmacy chain can enter the huge #OneStepCloser sweepstakes, "to win one of over a thousand fun and exciting prizes through weekly drawings and grand prizes over a six-week period," a statement from CVS said.
The pharmacy chain is partnering with several other companies to offer those prizes to "all customers ages 18 and up who received a vaccination or certify that they’ve registered to receive a vaccination from CVS Health."
Those partners and prizes include:
- CVS Health: The pharmacy itself is offering 125 different $500 giveaways and five Grand Prize giveaways of $5,000 for family reunions.
- Norwegian Cruise Line: The cruise line is offering 100 7-day cruises for two in a balcony stateroom to your choice of destination including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and more.
- Procter & Gamble: The corporation is offering a VIP trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles for two people. The trip includes Super Bowl game tickets, airfare, a hotel stay and more.
- Unilever: The corporation is offering Night Out coupon booklets to use towards free Unilever products, which include Dove, TRESemmé, Suave, Degree, Schmidt’s, St. Ives and more. There is also the Grand Prize of a 2022 NCAA Final Four package for two.
- Bermuda Tourism Authority: Bermuda is offering Five three-night, four-day trips for two. The trips include airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, roundtrip transportation and more.
- Hinge: The dating app is offering 500 $100 gift cards for dates. One winning couple will get the Grand Prize of a $5,000 gift card for an "ultimate date experience."
- iHeartMedia: The media company is offering a VIP package for two to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival, including first-class airfare, hotel, floor seats, backstage experiences with artists and other surprises.
- smarTours: The travel planning company will offer six fully escorted tours, including airfare, for two, to "one of many international destinations." One of the tours is a Grand Prize.
- Wyndham Rewards®: The hotel chain's rewards program is offering five two-night weekend getaways with a Platinum membership upgrade. There is also a Grand Prize seven-night getaway that includes an airfare voucher and a Diamond membership upgrade, redeemable at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals around the world.
The CVS sweepstakes ends on July 10.
The donut chain has, since March 22, been offering one free Original Glazed donut a day to anyone who has gotten at least one dose of the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Customers who want to redeem their free donut must show their vaccination card in the shop or drive through at a participating location.
Target customers can get $5 off any purchase when they get vaccinated at "nearly all CVS at Target locations," according to a news release from the store chain. Those who get their vaccine in-store will get a coupon to use on any in-store purchase. The store also gave employees "up to four hours of pay" so they could take time off for their vaccine appointments.
Aldi also offered employees up to four hours of pay to get vaccinated, as did Dollar General and Trader Joe's.
Earlier in May, Amazon announced it is hiring 75,000 new workers in the U.S. and Canada, and will give a $100 bonus to new warehouse and transportation hires who show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination.
Other Amazon employees can get an $80 bonus for getting vaccinated.
Both Uber and Lyft are offering free rides to vaccination sites until July 4, as part of a White House partnership announced on May 11.
For Uber, four free rides "up to $25 off each" are available to customers who open the app, tap "Vaccine," and then tap "Get your free ride" between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
For Lyft, two rides are free up to $15 each, with ride codes available in the app or on the Lyft website beginning May 24.
Vaccine Incentives in California
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new incentives program for the state, called "Vax for the Win," on May 27. Since then, 30 winners were selected out of all vaccinated Californians for the “$50,000 Fridays” cash prize drawings on June 4 and June 11, totaling $1.5 million in prizes.
The $116.5 million vaccine incentive program is the largest in the U.S., and includes "$100 million in $50 prepaid or grocery cards," to get as many shots in arms as possible before the state reopens on June 15.
Beginning Thursday May 27, the next two million people in California who begin and complete their COVID-19 vaccination will automatically be eligible to win one of those $50 cards, and they can choose whether it is a grocery or prepaid card while supplies last.
Newly-vaccinated Californians will receive a text message with an electronic prepaid card redemption code sent to their mobile phone or email address seven to 10 days after their two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna, or single-dose of Johnson and Johnson.
10 out of all vaccinated Californians won $1.5 million on June 15, for a grand total of $15 million in cash prizes.
Winners must complete their vaccinations to claim their prize, and in the event that a winner is younger than age 18, the cash will be put in a savings account until they reach that age.
Though the cash prizes have been given out, California isn't done with Vax for the Win prize incentives. On June 16, Newsom announced a partnership with Six Flags that would allow 50,000 California residents ages 12 and older to get a free Six Flags ticket when they get their first vaccine doses.
“Getting every eligible Californian vaccinated is how we bring our state roaring back
from this pandemic,” Newsom said.
Vaccine Incentives in LA County
LA County Public Health has announced many vaccination-related prize draws, and the most recent sweepstakes runs June 11 to June 17.
Anyone who gets their first vaccine or brings someone who needs their first dose to a County-run vaccination site between June 11 and June 17 will be entered to win Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers or Los Angeles Clippers season tickets.
In a sweepstakes running from May 28 to June 3, LA County residents 18 and older who fell under those criteria were entered to win LA Kings and LA Galaxy season tickets.
The Huntington is also partnering with LA County Public Health to offer a series of vaccination clinics from June through July. Those who schedule a free COVID-19 vaccination at the library, art museum and botanical gardens will receive two free same-day Huntington admission passes.
Total Testing Solutions will offer the Pfizer vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Dates for the Pfizer vaccine are:
- Wed., June 23, Noon to 3 p.m. for a first dose of Pfizer vaccine
- Wed., June 30, Noon to 3 p.m. for a first dose of Pfizer vaccine
- Wed., July 14, Noon to 3 p.m. for a second dose of Pfizer vaccine
- Wed., July 21, Noon to 3 p.m. for a second dose of Pfizer vaccine
Click here to learn more about the Huntington tickets and clinics.
Vaccine Incentives in Long Beach
The City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department has been holding daily prize drawings for those getting their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since May 24, and will continue to do so through at least June 12.
The week ending June 12, the prizes included a winner's choice of one $50 Fandango, Target or Walmart gift card, or a two-night stay at a local hotel.
Anyone who gets "their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or their one and only dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine through any City-run vaccination site will automatically be entered to win" a number of prizes.
Appointments are not required to enter the drawing, but can be made by calling the California COVID-19 Hotline at 833-422-4255, or the state's online vaccination portal. Winners can choose between the Airpods or the one- to two-night hotel stay.
Hotels included in the drawing the week ending June 12 include include Long Beach Marriott, The Westin Long Beach and Golden Sails Hotel.
According to a statement from Long Beach, since the incentives began earlier in May, vaccine appointments have doubled. The first prize offered was tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific, followed by the offer of Nintendo Switches, hotel stays, and Apple Airpods.
Other Vaccine Incentives
Dodger Stadium is offering tickets in special vaccinated-only fan sections at a 20% discount from normal ticket prices. Prices start at $34 for any fully-vaccinated adult, any 12- to 15 year-old child who has either been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19, or any child age 2 to 11 who has tested negative.
The NFL is providing 50 free tickets to Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 at SoFi Stadium, to any fans "who share their story on why they got vaccinated or will soon get vaccinated."
The NFL will also offer a 25% discount to vaccinated fans on purchases made at NFLShop.com.